The third subtest in the UCAT, Quantitative Reasoning, assesses your problem solving skills in relation to numbers. It’s generally a high scoring section of the UCAT; with the right preparation you can also achieve highly and positively impact your final score with the Quantitative Reasoning subtest. This guide will provide you with tips on how to do well and where to access quality Quantitative Reasoning practice questions, as well as information on the subtest and how to prepare for it.
Within the Quantitative Reasoning subtest, you’ll receive questions linked to data, which will be presented in tables, charts and/or graphs, as well in the question itself. It aims to assess your ability to use numerical skills to quickly solve problems related to the data provided.
The UCAT Quantitative Reasoning subtest assesses your ability to analyse data, extract relevant information and solve problems using numerical skills. Despite this need for numerical skills, the focus is predominantly on your problem solving and the exam relies on mathematics to GCSE standard only.
Being able to review data is a skill required by doctors. For example, this is needed for the following:
The format of the UCAT Quantitative Reasoning section is as follows:
You’ll have 24 minutes (plus a 1 minute instruction section) to answer the 36 multiple choice questions, giving you approximately 40 seconds per question.
The question format within the Quantitative Reasoning subtest is consistent, with a written statement and/or a set of data, each with up to four associated questions. Each question will require you to use information from the statement and/or data to solve a problem using your mathematical skills. The questions are multiple choice, with five answers options for each question, from which you need to choose the ‘best option’.
The UCAT website outlines the following key calculations which you’ll need to be able to carry out for the Quantitative Reasoning section:
Questions within the UCAT Quantitative Reasoning subtest are worth one mark, meaning you can score thirty-six marks in total. Your raw mark will be converted into a ‘scale score’ between 300 – 900. The other cognitive subtests – Abstract Reasoning, Decision Making and Verbal Reasoning – are all scored in the same way, whereas the Situational Judgement Test is scored using a band system.
Out of all the subtests in the UCAT, Quantitative Reasoning has consistently had the highest average score, in the last five years.
The UCAT website provides the following ‘mean scores’ for the Quantitative Reasoning subtest from 2016 – 2020:
*Note, scores from 2020 are for tests taken up to 25 October 2020.
For more information about how the UCAT is scored, including the scaled scoring, visit the UCAT Practice Test blog.
As a general rule, approximately 20 – 30 marks above the average score for the subtest would be considered a ‘good’ UCAT score. Therefore, for 2020, a ‘good’ score for the UCAT Quantitative Reasoning subtest would be 684 – 694. Remember, the average score will vary each year, and therefore so will a ‘good’ UCAT score, depending on how each year’s candidates perform.
As the Quantitative Reasoning section is generally a high scoring subtest, a ‘good’ score is relatively high, especially compared to sections such as Verbal Reasoning. However, don’t worry if this isn’t your strongest subtest, the ‘scale scores’ mean that each of ‘cognitive subtests’ are evenly scored, giving you an opportunity to still achieve a ‘good’ overall score.
As with all sections of the UCAT, the Quantitative Reasoning subtest is designed to challenge you. However, remember that the numerical skills required are GCSE level, so you don’t need to worry if you haven’t continued mathematics on to A Level. Furthermore, familiarity with the questions you’ll be asked and how to answer them will help you to perform well; effective preparation, which includes plenty of practice questions and tests, will help you to achieve this. You’ll find more information about practice questions and where to access our free UCAT practice tests in the example questions section below.
As mentioned above, focusing on practice questions and practice tests during your UCAT preparations will support you to understand what the subtest involves, the types of questions and how to answer them. This is vital for performing well in the Quantitative Reasoning subtest and all areas of the UCAT. Practice tests will also help you to get used to the time pressure of the Quantitative Reasoning section and familiarity with the questions will enable you to identify what you need to do more quickly.
During your UCAT preparations, ensure that you experience a full range of the types of questions in the Quantitative Reasoning subtest and most importantly dedicate time to those which you find most challenging. Our adaptive UCAT question bank does the work for you and will automatically ensure that you practice the areas which are likely to have the most impact on your UCAT Quantitative Reasoning score.
As well as practice questions and tests, general maths practice will support your Quantitative Reasoning preparations and will save you time during the exam. You may find the following useful:
The following simple tips will help you to save time – which is vital when you only have approximately 40 seconds per question – and perform well during your UCAT Quantitative Reasoning test:
Practice questions and practice tests will be invaluable for preparing for all sections of the UCAT. Including them in your revision will ensure that you’re familiar with the questions you’ll be asked and how to respond. It’ll also provide you with experience of dealing with the time pressure of the Quantitative Reasoning subtest and help you to increase your pace when answering the questions.
If you’re looking for free practice questions, visit our UCAT Practice Test blog, which provides questions for all sections of the UCAT, as well as general information about the exam. In addition to this, our adaptive UCAT question bank offers a personalised learning experience, to help you to effectively prepare for the UCAT. Powered by artificial intelligence, our practice questions and practice tests will automatically adapt to your strengths and weaknesses, and ensure that you spend time on the areas which are likely to have the most impact on your UCAT score.
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We’ll make sure you only spend time on areas likely to have the biggest impact on your exam score.